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Nowadays every stadium has a high-def color jumbotron. Back in the 1970s and ’80s, though, most ballparks had conventional one-color scoreboards that displayed dot-matrix images. An artist named Peter Chen has created a series of portraits based on that old scoreboard style (you can see some of them above; there are more here). I really like them, so I asked him to give a little summary of the project, which he happily provided:
As someone who thinks a lot about baseball as seen through an artistic lens, I recently began pondering about the jumbotron images and animations I had grown up seeing (as well as mimicked in ’90s baseball video games). This gave me an urge to create player portraits similar to those flashed on the scoreboard during Hank Aaron’s 715th home run and Pete Rose’s 4192nd hit. Specifically, I wanted to create players from the ’70s and ’80s, who were the equivalent of superheroes to me when I was growing up.
The process starts with creating a black-and-white pixel-sized image in Photoshop. This is the most painstaking part of the process, as each pixel can significantly change a portrait. Once that’s completed, the image is imported into Illustrator and overlaid with a series of dots in grid format. The excess dots are removed from the grid, resulting in the final image.
The image is then printed in black onto black paper via a laser printer, which results in a black-on-black effect. Gold foil is then overlaid on top of the printed piece, and both are sent through a heat laminator. The heating process fuses the gold foil to the toner to create the final image. This is an affordable yet powerful method of printing metalics in a one-off fashion. Otherwise, it would surely be cost-prohibitive.
Interesting! Peter’s prints evoke very specific reactions in my mind. The Shea Stadium scoreboard never displayed this type of image, so I associate these portraits with the Phillies, the Pirates, maybe the Reds. As I list those teams, I realize I’m also listing donut-style stadiums that had artificial turf. When I see these images, that’s what I think of: cheesy, synthetic, ’70s-style plastic culture. Except I mean all of that in a good way, if that’s possible.
By Brinke Guthrie
I don’t feature too many game-worn items here at Collector’s Corner — not sure why. But here’s one that caught my eye: a pair of game-worn 1970s Dallas Cowboys pants. Certainly has the tell-tale blue-green color. But notice the number of player numbers scrawled inside. There’s 70 and 64, who must have been lineman. Then there’s 49, who was probably a running back.
In non-game used items:
• More Mays for your money! Open up your wallet for this three-foot-tall bobblehead of the Say Hey Kid.
• Here’s something you don’t often see: a ticket stub for a football doubleheader. [Anyone know more about this? — PL]
• Luv Ya Blue! Can’t miss with this inflatable little 1969 Oilers guy.
• Look at this complete set of late-1960s/early-1970s Fleer MLB stickers!
• Volpe alert! Here we have a nice set of 1960s Detroit Red Wings thermal cups.
• You can have a killer slumber party or camping trip with these 1970s NFL sleeping bags. Feels like a Sears item to me.
• This set of New Orleans Saints gumball helmets includes the rare black version.
Your feedback is hereby requested: I’ve been approached by some folks who are developing a new media/publishing platform for the iPad and iPhone (with other devices to follow later). Their business model is based on the notion that more and more people are reading content — newspapers, magazines, ebooks, etc. — on mobile devices. I’m a little out of my element here, because I work at home and therefore don’t lead a very mobile device-y life — I have an iPhone, but I almost never read anything on it except for email, and I don’t own an iPad (although I’m planning to buy one tomorrow, mainly because I think I ought to learn its ins and outs if I’m gonna write content for it).
I should specify that my relationship with these new media/publishing folks will not necessarily have anything to do with Uni Watch. At present, we’re mostly talking about some of my other creative projects (although Uni Watch may enter the mix). In any case, here are my questions for you folks: Do you own an iPad? What about your friends and family members — only the youngsters? Only the oldsters? Do you read stuff on it? Do you read Uni Watch on it? What about the iPhone — do you read on that? If you do read stuff on these devices, is any of that content paid, or is it all free? If it’s a mix, is there a marked difference between the quality of the paid content and the free content?
If you’re willing to share your thoughts regarding any of this (or about anything else relating to the iPad and iPhone as content delivery systems), I’m all ears. Big thanks in advance for helping to educate me on this subject.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Browns wore white at home last season, but they’ll wear brown for at least some of their home games this year. “Also, the writer of that article, Tony Grossi, mentioned on the radio on Monday morning that the team is working on an alternate uniform for the 2013 season, but didn’t have any details on the color or look,” says Nick Hatch. … Justin Morneau is nursing a wrist injury, but that didn’t stop him from wearing eye black while sitting in the dugout the other day (from Marc Bauche). … According to this article, Johnny Damon is currently wearing No. 33 as a tribute to Trot Nixon (who wore that number with the Indians) and Jason Varitek (who wore it for the Red Sox). … “My fiancé and I are big Washington Capitals fans,” writes Robert Kuperberg. “Our wedding is going to be a bit hockey-themed, with chocolate hockey pucks as wedding favors and a Capitals jersey with our name on the back serving as the guest book. Also, I proposed to her on a hockey puck.” … I wrote an article on uniform advertising for Print, which is a graphic design magazine. Not much in the article that I haven’t said before here on this site, but here’s the link anyway, just in case you’re curious. … The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is holding a contest to redesign its logo (which currently looks like this). Hunter Franks submitted this design. … Speaking of design contests, the Seibu Lions recently invited kids to design a uniform for the 100th anniversary of the Seibu Railways on a Lions uniform. Here’s the winning entry and Nike’s rendering of it (from Jeremy Brahm). … This photo of a guy dressed up as the Redskins logo has been ricocheting around the internet for a coupla days now. Anyone know the full story behind it? … Late-breaking eBay item: I loooovve the sash design on these old track uniforms. … Here are the WNBA uniforms for the upcoming season — Eastern Conference and Western Conference. “Not much change from last year,” says Kevin Brown. … There’s no softball in baseball! Or is there? That’s Marco Estrada of the Brewers, who was playing with a softball in the bullpen a few days ago (from Tim E. O’Brien). … Remember the Chargers’ unusual NOB format of having the first initial after the surname? Turns out the Browns did it too, at least once. That’s Mike Pruitt, on 9/27/81 (great find by Joe Wright). … New logo for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup (Jeremy Brahm again). … A member of Marty Hick’s croquet crew recently lost his father to cancer. So for their most recent match, they added a little strip of black electrical tape to each mallet handle. Very nice. … Can you guess which color Illinois State hoops is adding this fall? Hint: rhymes with gray (from Joel Hackler). … New basketball court design in the works for Georgia Tech. “They even consulted with ESPN about which paint colors show up well on TV, how lights can cause glare on certain surfaces, etc.,” says Britton Thomas. … For years the Phillies have had the little Liberty Bell icon on their stirrups, but not on their solid red socks. But now the Liberty Bell is also showing up on socks, but the one on the socks is positioned higher than the one on the stirrups. “I wonder if the equipment manager’s been sewing them on manually,” speculates Zach Carduner. … Special “30 years in Sydney” jumper for the Sydney Swans (from Leo Strawn).